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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 10-07-2005, 05:38 AM
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Happy: I ALWAYS say that exact thing. "But for an accident of birth..."

You just reminded me of the one thing I hate about NCL and Freestyle Dining: You are bound to have several, if not many, waiters throughout the cruise. Of course you develop a nice relationship with one or two, and then they vaporize by the end of the cruise. I was so paranoid about the karma implications of this that on my last cruise (CCL) I made sure to tip out several people who I might not see again well in advance of the last night. On NCL, they give you a receipt for free things, like meals, apparently so that you can add a tip. Problem: you can be sure that tip is going to be MUCH smaller by the time it goes into the waiters' pocket (and probably goes to some quota- at any rate, he gets nailed again). SO, what one needs to do on NCL is carry CASH here and there to recognize people who have served you well.
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:06 AM
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carlalena1 that is exactly what I did on my NCL cruise. A discreet handing over of cash to the special people you wish to acknowledge is always greatly appreciated by the staff. I had a wonderful waitress (Rochelle from India)on the Star in the Versailles, I always requested to be seated in her area,(she seemed to always be working)and always was. If you don't mind a slight delay, you can be seated with the same wait person in each restaurant you visit.
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2005, 01:59 PM
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Let me ask a question about tipping I've wondered about this since out first cruise earlier this year. We went into doing the tipping that is added to your credit card at the end of the trip..I think it was $10.00 a day per person so for my family that was $50.00 a day. Which I thought was good b/c we were very low maintence guests and made our kids pick up after themselves etc.
Anyway we had a wonderful wait team at dinner each night in the dining room. 2 people. The one lady was Romanian and she was very friendly and nice. When ever we saw her in a nother part of the ship she recognized it and talked to our daughter etc. The last night the kids all gave her hugs etc. but I did not give them any money b.c I was under the iimpression that that was taken care of one the credit card thing(which it was) But was i supposed to give her MORE? We saw her the last morning at breakfast and she seemed ****ed off majorly. She would barely talk to us, no conversation at all. I never did figure out if she was just really tired, ****ed about not getting extra money, or if she had jumped through her hoops and was getting ready for her next group of customers. ANy idea of which you think it was?
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2005, 04:22 PM
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ALL THREE. Some more than others. Think about it: you know how some of us hate Mondays, or just have off days, or don't sleep well, or have family worries, or are sick, or - I hate to say it- have PMS, or whatever, well: Ms. Romania has to work through it, every day. So who knows. Maybe she WAS tired.

I do find that the staff has pretty much disengaged by the last day. The cabin crew just want us gone and it is the only day the wait staff don't have to serve lunch- the closest thing to a day off. So possibly you morphed into one of the faceless masses by then.

The tipping thing MIGHT have been an issue. Face the fact that these people have no balance after a month at sea. It is all about the benjamins and whatever drama they have going on between themselves. There is no family, no recreation, no sports, nothing to offset the job and the crew-on-crew interaction. So the money is a big thing.

One waiter said to me that he prefers the 4 day trips. Didn't make sense to me- why have two turnaround days in a week when you can have just one? By the time you get the passengers settled down and in line the next ones come on! But it is probably because the tips are double on a 4 day schedule. People who would give 50 bucks a head after a 4 day are probably NOT going to give 100 after a 7 or 8 day- the magic has worn off and the pax are broke and sick of getting nickled and dimed by the cruise line.

There is also the cultural thing. Eastern Europeans by nature are not going to fall all over themselves saying goodbye. We hug, we cry, we take pictures, but not all people do. My last waitress was Romanian, and she was GREAT, spoke Spanish to my mother, was great to my kids, etc. But she was also really professional and serious about her job. I got to talking to her one night and I mentioned that if I had to sing and dance while serving I would put a knife to the Maitre'd's throat. She shot me a look that spoke volumes and said "Yes. I am waiter or I am clown?"

So... what I am trying to say is that you very well may have had a genuine experience with her, which it sounds like you did, and you probably went a long way to making that week a pleasant one for her, as she of course did for you. But cultural norms, lack of any balance in her life at this point, exhaustion, and the necessary disengagement combined to make it seem like a diss.

Might have been the money, but then again, how many people go to the purser's to add $$ the last morning? Probably quite a few. So how was she to know that you weren't one of them? The only thing she knew for sure was that she was done earning it!
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Old 10-10-2005, 12:50 PM
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In addition to all of the above, maybe she was grieving a little. She may have become attached to you and your children and she knew she would never see you again.

What you might do to help her is to write a short note to the company and tell them how wonderful she was. Be specific and leave out any mention of the last day.
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:32 PM
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I just re-read my post and you may be thinking, oh give me a break. Those poor overworked people couldn't possibly feel grief over departing passengers.

I spoke from personal experience as a young waitress one summer during college. I worked in the Colorado Rockies, not on a ship, and I worked six days a week, not seven. It was a long time ago, but I worked for fifty cents an hour plus tips. My customers were locals, tourists, construction workers and snobby little skiers who wrongly assumed my friends and I were beneath them in status.

There were families who came through that I really enjoyed. They'd ask for my section of the restaurant and I waited on them for several days, sometimes several weeks. They had mannerly, delightful children and they picked up whatever their kids spilled. They engaged me in conversation and amazing as it seems, I thought of them as friends and I missed them when they left.
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Old 10-12-2005, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marian:
I just re-read my post and you may be thinking, oh give me a break. Those poor overworked people couldn't possibly feel grief over departing passengers.

I spoke from personal experience as a young waitress one summer during college. I worked in the Colorado Rockies, not on a ship, and I worked six days a week, not seven. It was a long time ago, but I worked for fifty cents an hour plus tips. My customers were locals, tourists, construction workers and snobby little skiers who wrongly assumed my friends and I were beneath them in status.

There were families who came through that I really enjoyed. They'd ask for my section of the restaurant and I waited on them for several days, sometimes several weeks. They had mannerly, delightful children and they picked up whatever their kids spilled. They engaged me in conversation and amazing as it seems, I thought of them as friends and I missed them when they left.
Touching story...I never thought of the staff being as attached to us as we had become to them. We've left many cruises in tears feeling like we were saying good-bye "forever" to old friends.
We've always tipped above the requested amount even if the service wasn't the best. We always chalked it up to "fatique." The hours/work that's required from some cruise lines is "exhausting." I couldn't do it and then expect to smile and be pleasant at all times. It's a tough gig.
Anyway, thanks for the input.
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:34 PM
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Between reading this thread and similar ones on other cruise forums I really began to think about the add-on tipping. Personally my wife and I like it. It's no muss, no fuss which is how we want our vacation. Mind you, we are very easy to please and demand very little special attention. However after reading posts I'm beginning to feel that we will do more and give extra to those who are most helpful.

Happycat brought up an interesting point about how servers are too often treated. Maybe I'm just getting older or maybe wiser but I'm very intolerant of those who treat the servers as below them on the human pile. We've watched children (their parents were with them)throwing things on the floor of the buffets and laugh about it as the servers had to pick them up.

My wife and I, at our table, spoke about how rude some children have become in our society and how parents have allowed such things. Never mentioning names or indicating who we were talking about, not loud enough to to create a scene but certainly loud enough for the family to hear. They did stop and one appologized to the server.
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2005, 12:39 PM
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Hello,

Thank you all for posting your comments here. I agree that the cruise wait staff should be much better compensated, and that a mandatory service charge be added to the cost of a cruise. I also believe that we all should remember how it was when we were young. Starting out to find our way with no money and no place to live, and yet we had to go to school and support ourselves. And how nice it was to get some praise or a word of encouragement when the road was at its worst.

However, we in America have our own situations where lower income persons work for next to nothing. I suggest the following should be read Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed" and David K. Shipler's "The Working Poor"

I hope that persons who cruise remember "Do unto others as you shall have them do unto you" and that tipping fairly and honorably is the right thing to do. If you do not want to tip honorably and fairly, please do not go on a cruise!

Fred
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2005, 04:44 PM
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I agree! I agree I agree I agree.

BTW, I am a family court lawyer in NY. I have watched as people petition others into family court, then show up late or don't show up at all for repeated court dates, don't show up for custodial evaluations, don't go to legal aid and get a lawyer and then request another adjournment, etc. Time after time I have had a mother or a father or a grandparent in tears because they were going to lose a job because of this, or couldn't afford parking or child care, etc. Meanwhile the other party would be in arrears in child support! Then I really started to notice how many other lawyers would adjourn cases an hour before they were calendared, show up hours late, make frivolous motions, etc. So I bought five copies of Nickel and Dimed and left one in my office and put the others in various conference rooms. At least 20 people have read it that I know of!

My point: what fruby says is SO TRUE. Be fair, be honorable, treat service personnel with respect, give them encouragement, and never forget how we felt when we were young and just starting out. I get so disgusted when i read some peoples' opinions on tipping- and I am used to dealing with other peoples' strong opinions! I don't find many "bad tippers" on here, but there are other boards where people go on and on about how tipping is ONLY for service that is "above and beyond." It makes me so sad.
 
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